Data librarians : their skills, knowledge, and charter of service

Goals: the main objectives of the article are to describe the characteristics of the data librarian, to underline the importance of their role at a time when Open Science practices are increasingly being adopted in university libraries, and to provide guidelines for retraining library staff already offering services to researchers in research institutions. Specifically, the aim is to define the profile of data librarian staff and to highlight the knowledge and skills they must offer to the research community.

Methodology: A non-exhaustive bibliographic review was carried out in Google Scholar, Scopus, Web of Science and Zenodo combining the terms Data librarian, Open Science and Library Documents from the websites of official bodies and institutions such as the European Commission, Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche (LIBER), International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), American Library Association (ALA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Conferencia de Rectores de las Universidades Españolas (CRUE) were also consulted.

Results: Throughout the entire research process, the data librarian plays an essential role in supporting data management. In addition to the traditional skills required of librarians in general, data librarians must have specific training to understand the research cycle in depth, a thorough knowledge of data management and curation, and advanced technological and communication skills. Data librarians offer a very wide and flexible range of services that meets the needs of each stage of the research.